Friday, May 23, 2008

The Heat Has Arrived!

Well, we knew it was coming!

Today the temperature soared to 28C. I stepped outside on my way to teach a private lesson at just gone noon and was hit by a blast of heat and humidity.

It was such a shock to my system to have that atmosphere suddenly appear. I walked for just 10 minutes up the road to the subway station and was so warm (and a little sweaty) by the time I got there. It was lovely and cool inside the trains, because the air conditioner was on full blast (that's what causes natsubate, which is the illness associated with fluctuating temperatures between inside and outside in summer).

When I left the lesson, I had recovered from the shock of the heat and was enjoying it a lot. The saving grace was that the cool breeze that was blowing around the city was nice and refreshing.

I went out several times just in my T-shirt and I was perfectly comfortable.

This is only May! It was like a hot day in British August! What will it be like when the true summer hits?

It had the smell of hot Continental Europe today, that strange mixture of humidity, drains and a little pollution.

So I did what you do in hot weather. I wore little, drank lots, relaxed, turned the air conditioner on (for the first time to cool myself down!) and made a summer salad for dinner.

It was so tasty. It took quite a while to prepare it though.

I went and sat by the Sumida river that flows right past my guesthouse in the evening, and it was lovely and warm. Great May weather!

Well, there's still no sign of the dreaded rainy season appearing. Looks like the rain last week was a false alarm. I did read that the intensity of the rain fluctuates each year, and sometimes it's like there is no rainy season. Fingers crossed!


Skuzby said...

are you still wearing suits all the time?



why do i always type drunk in the morning?

Titichu said...

Hahaha the summer in Japan is like hell on earth, but hey! I just love it! (then again, I love spending hours in onsen and sauna...). Just start a budget for drinks cause that's going to cost a lot (I used to drink one bottle every 20 mn).
Interestingly, I never catched a cold due to the temperature changes between shops and outside. And I think they have this new "cool law" that has risen the temperature to have in offices to 28C instead of the previous 23C.
Well anyway, try to adapt quickly cause the worst is still to come ^_^. (and I think the rain season hasn't started yet. Usually it is beginning of july or end of June).

Jennifer said...

And here's the rain again today... that's one of the things that makes the "rainy season" here such a misnomer- "overcast, humid and sometimes drizzly season" would be a better name! It is actually due on June 7 this year and is forecast to be a long one, lasting until about July 24th.

The one good thing to be said about the rainy season is that it does keep things a bit cooler, i.e. mostly under 30 deg C, for a while. The week after the rainy season ends you often see a sudden jump up to 35 deg or more but with almost the same humidity- lovely.

Will you still be here in late July/ early August? If so, you'll be wishing for a chilly 28 degree day then! titichu is right, be prepared to drink and sweat buckets...

Miles said...

Oh no! A long rainy season?! Oh dear... But if the temperature stays lower then that's got to be a good thing I suppose.

The temperature is nice for me at the moment, it's just the humidity that makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

And the bugs are out now! Walking to get lunch today, one landed perfectly in my eye, leaving me to explain to students for the whole afternoon why one eye was red and swollen!

Just out of interest Jennifer, how can you check when the rainy season is due for?

I'll be here until August 7 so I'm hoping I'll escape the very worst of it.

Thank you very much both for your comments. I appreciate it.


Titichu said...

Hum the rainy season is usually 15 days long. So you should have time to "enjoy" it, then still have some nice hyper hot summer before you leave Japan. I usually forget quick quickly about the slopy days once the heat arrives. Then again, because it's so hot, the rainy season is not as bad as the one I used to have in Edinburgh.
I also don't know about Jennifer's website, and I would be quite interested to know where she got the information.

Jennifer said...

15 days? So just over 2 weeks? I wish. I don't think it would qualify as a "season" if it was only 15 days!

I'm afraid it tends to last an average of 6 weeks- here is a line from the Japan Guide site: "In most of Japan, the rainy season lasts from the beginning of June to mid July"- that makes about 6 weeks by my calculations and certainly in the 10 years I've lived in Japan that has been the case. (I arrived here when I was 20 on a WHV and although I left a couple of times I've come back again...)

I got my dates from the NHK news weather report a few days ago, which I think is a pretty trustworthy source, and the Japan Guide site gives similar dates, slightly shorter, June 8 to July 20- hopefully it's shorter rather than longer!

Japan Guide also says though "During the rainy season it does not rain every day. In fact, Tokyo registers only an average of 12 rainy days in June, while 120 hours of sunshine are recorded. As for the amount of rainfall, it varies from days with intensive downpours to other days with occasional sprinkles."

So not really much different to now, it just gradually gets hotter and hotter, and the humidity gets tiring. It's all part of the Japan experience!

Titichu said...

Hi Jennifer,
thanks for the information. See, I told you I forgot quickly about this season as it seemed to me it was over quite quickly. Now that I think about it, when I went to work in Kyoto three years ago, I arrived around the 23rd of June and "enjoyed" the rainy season till the 15 th of July, which might be why it didn't seem too long.

Skuzby said...


miles your dad must be on facebook more than me

what a socialite


can we see a geisha

oh and will all the japanese school girls giggle in small groups and look at us?